Hi.

Welcome to my blog! I am a second grade teacher from Northern Virginia who loves to bring my creativity to the classroom! I believe in fostering a love of learning, creating a positive classroom community, STEM intergration, teaching with technology, and giving students choice!

The Amazing Race: School Edition

The Amazing Race: School Edition

Four days, four continents, six countries, and.....ONE Amazing Race! I transformed my classroom to engage my students, review important content from the year, and get them excited about the last few weeks of school! The best part was...they had NO idea that this was going to happen! Welcome to our Amazing Race: Classroom Edition...

Click on the photos below to reveal more images of our classroom transformation!

I gained inspiration from Hope King, The Engaging Station, and Mr. G. All of these fabulous people are teachers who transformed their classrooms into an engaging learning environment. 

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The Amazing Race is a TV show where partners race across the world, compete in difficult challenges, have to use problem solving skills, and make it to their next checkpoint in the quickest time possible. If they are the last team to the checkpoint (pit stop), then they are eliminated. There are different types of challenges. Sometimes you get to pick between two tasks and other times you have to do a particular task.

The Amazing Race: School Edition is a way for my students to review the math, reading, social studies, & science skills taught this school year, but in a fun and engaging way! The challenges that I designed for my students meet information taught in 2nd Grade Virginia Standards of Learning, however they do cover reading and math skills taught elsewhere!

My students were unaware that they were picking a partner when I was creating teams. Weeks in advance, I had them pull a Popsicle stick to help me decide who would go first in a game. Little did they know...the student they picked would be their partner! In my class of 21 studnets, I had 10 teams. (One was a team of 3). I assigned a color to them randomly. THe best part about this was that my students were completely surprised!

I chose to have my teams announced on the first day of our Amazing Race: School Edition. I created a trailer (using the same intro music as the real Amazing Race). I replaced the actual people with photos of the two students and their team color. I used Windows Movie Maker to do this. I also covered one of my bulletin boards and created a Team display board and scoreboard section.

Here are some details that I added to enrich our experience and make it seem even more like an actual Amazing Race!

  • Used GreenScreen technology (GreenScreen App: Do Ink on iPads) to create introduction videos for each day. I asked my principal if he could do an introduction to each area of the world we were traveling to. He is a BIG Amazing Race fan and was such an awesome sport! The kids got so excited to see the introduction video to begin each day! It was so special that the host was someone that they knew!
  • Created passports, which students used as morning work throughout the week. It includes personal information, explanation of different types of challenges, & reflection pages for previous days.
  • Created personal Amazing Race Fanny Packs for each team using different colored pencil pouches and ribbon. Students stored their team's passports in here!
  • Created an Amazing Race Pit Stop stand. I attached it to my blue rolling IKEA cart and would roll it into the hallway each morning to greet my kiddos.
  • Created Road Block, Detour, & Route Info cards to use in the morning and during challenges. If you have seen the Amazing Race...you will know what I'm talking about!
  • Created a PIT STOP out of thick poster board and colored tape.
  • Had the exciting theme music playing each morning when students walked in. You can find an Hour Long Loop of the Music HERE.

Our classroom participated in the Amazing Race: School Edition for 4 days (we had Monday off for Memorial Day). Students participated in 2 challenges each day. Each challenge was an hour to an hour and a half long. Check out some of the names of our challenges, the countries they come from, and what information/skills are used during them. 

As you can see.....we LOVE STEM! :-) For a more pictures of challenges check out my Twitter.

I highly recommend inviting other teachers to join in on the fun! It is helpful to have extra eyes to check work. Some ideas of who to invite include...Admin, technology teacher, specials teachers, office workers, or anyone! My awesome TRT (Technology Resource Teacher), Art Teacher, and Principal came for most of the challenges. It was super helpful to have their support- plus we had a blast! :-)

Allow for more time, but also be prepared to have something extra planned in case students finish early. Some of the challenges surprised me with either how quickly my students could complete them or how difficult it was for them!

Check online yard sales on FB or online freebie sites on FB for campy/outdoorsy props to use. You'll be surprised with what you can find for free or super cheap! Check out your local Dollar Store/Five Below for items as well!

                                          Click image to check it out!

                                          Click image to check it out!

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